Surging Shingles Cases: Kankakee County Health Department Urges Vigilance, Vaccine


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KANKAKEE, Ill. — The Kankakee County Health Department emphasizes the vital role of immunizations in safeguarding personal and community health. Offering a comprehensive range of recommended vaccines across all age groups, the department urges residents to prioritize their well-being.

Shingles, which has seen rising cases statewide and is scientifically known as Herpes Zoster, emerges as a formidable concern. Characterized by a painful rash accompanied by blisters, this affliction takes root on a single side of the face or body. Accompanying symptoms include fever, headache, and an upset stomach. Particularly concerning is the potential impact on vision and hearing if the rash spreads to the face.

Delving deeper, the long-term ramifications of shingles cannot be overlooked. Nerve pain persisting for months to years, even after the rash subsides, becomes a vexing challenge. The underlying trigger is the reactivation of the varicella virus within the body, predominantly affecting those who have previously experienced chickenpox. Notably, even individuals who have received the varicella vaccine remain vulnerable to this ailment.

Who stands to benefit from the shingles vaccine? The department extends its recommendation to a diverse spectrum of individuals. Adults aged 50 and above are encouraged to seek vaccination, alongside those aged 19 and older who face immunocompromised circumstances or an escalated risk of shingles. Responding to medical advancements, the updated shingles vaccine (Shingrix) emerges as the cornerstone of protection, superseding the now-discontinued Zostavax.


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